11 March 2019
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton says members’ voices have to be heard as the country tries to get to grips with the knife crime epidemic sweeping the country.
Tony welcomed the meeting today (Monday) between national chair John Apter and Home Secretary Sajid Javid to address the issue.
“It is imperative that the voices of police officers, who are at the forefront of tackling knife crime, are heard at the highest levels of Government,” Tony said.
“While, thankfully, it is less of an issue in Derbyshire right now, our members nationwide are seeing at first-hand the devastating effects that this surge in violence is having on individuals, families and communities.
“They must be able to contribute to the debate because it is the officers who are first on the scene to try to save the lives of our young people, and it is the officers who are delivering the terrible news to families.
“I think their experience will be invaluable, and they have to be at the heart of any solution.”
The meeting follows the Home Secretary’s summit with police chiefs last week during which they requested emergency funding to deal with the issue.
Following that meeting, Mr Javid pledged to ‘do everything I can’ to ensure police have the resources they need.
However, he seemed at odds with the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, who said that the police service needs to ‘prioritise’ better rather than expect more money.
John Apter said: “Children are dying on our streets and the Chancellor has the audacity to suggest that the police need to prioritise. Let me assure him - this is a priority.”
He added: “It is an insult to my dedicated and hard-working colleagues, and it shows a shocking lack of awareness of what they are doing to serve and protect our communities, and how they manage their ‘priorities’ in the face of overwhelming demand.
“I urge the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to listen to us, to the public, to those whose lives have been irreparably damaged by this epidemic, and to their own Home Secretary. To fail to act now would be unforgivable.”